The World Federation of Exchanges ranks the stock exchanges of the world. They represent 51 exchanges around the world. They sort by size, so it is possible to identify the largest stock exchanges in terms of a number of factors.
For example, it is possible to see exchanges in order of market capitalisation, number of listed companies, total volume of shares and many other statistics. They also rate other types of markets - things like fixed income, blue chips, ETFs and much more. They even now do this monthly.
The WFE also lists geographically which means that if you really are interested in some unusual statistic about markets, they probably have it!
In truth, this is something of a specialist subject to be interested in, but if you are, more details can be found here.
As an example, here is a list of the largest stock exchanges in order of value in September 2005.
1- New York Stock Exchange
2- Tokyo Stock Exchange
4- London Stock Exchange
6- Toronto Stock Exchange
7- Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Deutsche Börse)
8- Madrid Stock Exchange (BME Spanish Exchanges)
9- Hong Kong Stock Exchange
10- SWX Swiss Exchange
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I don't know about you, but I think this is a pretty interesting list. My own favourite stock exchange is Swiss.
It is different from the others. The Swiss economy is unusual and as such their bourse is different too. It has lower volatility, many very strong companies and tends not to move in tune to the other major markets. As such, it stands out on this list of largest stock exchanges.
There are, of course, various ways of measuring the strength of an economy and market size is only one. For example, the list of top 10 richest countries in the world is very different to the above list about market size. GDP produces some very different results...
Information about the size and scale of various markets and exchanges will be of most use to corporations that are not yet listed, but to plan to be. Such numbers will help them to make a decision about which national exchange might be most appropriate in terms of possible floatation costs, likely support for the IPO, the amount of liquidity in the market and the number of companies with which they can be compared.
While this might not sound overly important, if you are the owner of such a company, the difference in terms of making a good or a bad decision might be tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in launch price. And those potential millions will be going to the current owners!
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